Reviewed by David Steven Rappoport. The Reason by Sandra M. Colbert is a compelling page-turner about a heinous murder. From the beginning, there is little doubt who committed the crime. The suspense that drives the book is not whodunit but why they done it. As such, although the book is built on some of the elements of the detective novel, The Reason is not a conventional mystery. It reads more like a true crime narrative even though the crime is fictional. The psychology of the murderer is fascinating, and the crime is sufficiently vile that it is difficult to imagine a motive. Building on these elements deftly, Colbert drives the reader onward in fascination. While putting in a new fence in their garden, private investigator Kate Harrison and her police officer husband Paul discover a human skeleton. Pursuing the available clues, Kate and the police quickly identify the body and notify the next of kin. It is apparent from the beginning that this relative is involved in the crime. Yet, the circumstances of the crime are initially vague and as the clues emerge, they are increasingly hateful. Colbert eventually leads us to an explanation of what occurred and why, with the requisite twists and turns that a reader expects in this kind of novel. Sandra M. Colbert writes crime fiction well. Her prose is lean but effective, her characters are engaging, and the situations she creates are always interesting. Perhaps the revelation at the end is a bit too long, and it is difficult to understand why this particular villain is forthcoming with a confession at the end but had not been earlier. Also, the devoted mystery reader may hope that in future Kate Harrison books, the author reverts to a more traditional mystery structure: multiple plausible suspects and a knock-out surprise at the end when the murderer is revealed. These are minor concerns in the midst of a compelling read. Sandra M. Colbert keeps the reader fascinated—essential in this genre. I recommend this book to those who enjoy mystery novels and look forward to reading future Kate Harrison mysteries.